Design Board, Inspiration

Minimalistic Traditional Reading Corner

*I like to design with a particular person in mind, and here I give a short description of who I think that person is and what their lifestyle is like. This makes designing more fun and meaningful, since design is about describing someone visually in order to help you get to know them. In these posts I reverse the process. This person is not real as far as I know.

I imagine that a young family lives in this snazzy San Franciscan home. Rayne has a weekly playgroup over once a week to give her two children a chance to see their friends and to give her a good excuse to clean up. She loves to entertain in this spacious living room, something that her mom taught her to do growing up. Her passion is sparked by her relationships with the people in the community, and she has set up her home to be a platform for getting together. Rayne has a mop of curly light brown hair and a round face. She can be seen in the summertime wearing sandals exclusively, and during winter she never goes anywhere without earmuffs even though she knows they make her look silly. Her style is welcoming and friendly but with a classic and high-end slant. Her favorite things are dinner parties, sunny mornings, the flower market (when it’s cheap) and the bleary faces of her children after they wake up.

If you caught my insta stories the other day, you caught me putting this room together step by step. Thanks again if you sat through that! It’s helpful for me to tease out the process as an exercise in design, and I feel so privileged to share that with all of you!

Not shown in the stories was adding the lighting which I realized later I neglected in the original design – a big mistake if this was a real client. Lighting is super important in a space like this, which will be used mostly for reading. I also switched out the original side table for this one from CB2 because the first one just never felt right for me…I think the scale wasn’t right. That’s why it’s good to always go back and look over the design to figure out what feels off. Here are some images that inspired the feel for this corner:

First thing I did was choose the English Roll Arm Lounge Chair from Interior Define in yellow velvet. I wanted this room to feel pretty minimal, but it also needed a focal point, and the yellow velvet did that perfectly. The complementing style is industrial, which is mostly represented by the windows and open feel of the room. The next thing I chose was the blond herringbone floor, inspired by Emily Henderson‘s amazing floors in her home.

Since this is a sitting corner of a living room, you need basically three things: the chair, the light, and the floor (because duh, a room needs a floor). But just those things together lacks the pretty/cozy factor. Cue the tree! That olive tree is from Crate and Barrel and I believe it is no longer available. I have this thing for large plants. The larger the plant the better I like it! It fills the room in such a beautiful and organic way. Next, I needed a side table for putting things like coffee on. This console fit the bill, while also providing storage.

The David Michael Slonim print is part of a new series he is doing that is not yet on his website but if you head to his Facebook you can get a peek into the goods. I am personally loving the charcoal thing, and if definitely works with this style, at the same time providing a contrast to the traditional elements. This Minted print is one of my absolute favorites! And it gives us another traditional element.

For the rug I decided I wanted something solid, so that it didn’t compete with the nice herringbone pattern. This rug from West Elm has a warm texture to it, and the gray color is the perfect backdrop for the vibrant yellow chair.

The addition of the pillow, basket, and blanket (similar) were mainly to provide the “cozy” factor and to flesh out the design.

In total we have 7 different style represented in this room. MCM in the console, modern in the charcoal art and lamp, global in the rug, pillow, and basket, industrial in the window and open style of the space, traditional in the chair and minted art, and minimalist in the way all these elements are presented. These elements on their own can be classified into different groups; however the main styles here are minimalist, traditional and industrial as an accent.

Chair, Console, Rug, Lamp, Charcoal Art (not available), Minted Print, Tree (no longer available) , Pillow, Basket, Blanket(similar)


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